Gel Mattresses

Best Gel Mattresses UK (2024)

Last updated: 31.10.2023 Reading time: 11 Min.

Gel mattresses are becoming increasingly popular. 🌎

But what exactly is a gel mattress?

If you're envisioning squishy layers of jelly, you're out of luck. 🌊

What we call gel mattresses are actually gel foam mattresses.

So are these any good? 🤔

And are they worth the often hefty price tag?

Let's find out in this guide on the best gel mattresses in the UK. 👇

Gel foam mattresses
Luxury Option

Bensons for Beds iGel Advance 3000i Plush Top Mattress

The iGel Advance 3000i Plush Top mattress comprises a deep gel temperature-regulating layer and 3000 pocket springs for cooler comfort.

This cool gel mattress is available in soft, medium, or firm. 

The iGel mattress is one of our favourite cool options. 

iGel Advance 3000i Plush Top mattress

The mattress combines 5 cm (1.9 inches) of iGel™ Advance Graphene and 3000 premium pocket springs. 

The Graphene technology absorbs excess body heat when you get too hot and releases the heat when you're too cold.

This means the mattress should keep you at the perfect temperature (35° to 37° Celsius) throughout the night. 

The pocket springs support the body, minimise motion transfer and encourage optimal airflow. 

Bensons for Beds actually sells a range of iGel mattresses, including the slightly cheaper iGel pillow top mattress and the iGel 2050i mattress (the upgrade of the iGel advance 2000 mattress).

The iGel Advance 3000i Plush Top mattress has a FreshNow™ advanced moisture-wicking cover to keep the mattress clean and you feeling fresh all night.

You'll feel optimal comfort as the gel crystals mould around pressure points and provide targeted support. 

The AdvantEdge ensures you'll feel supported right up to the edge of the mattress.

BUY IGEL ADVANCE 300I£ 1,574.99

  iGel Advance 3000i Plush Top Mattress
Composition: iGel Advance Graphene, pocket springs
Firmness level: Soft, medium, or firm
Height: 32 cm (12.6 inches)
Trial period: 40 nights
Guarantee: 10-year guarantee
What makes this mattress special? The graphene technology transfers heat 7 times faster than standard foam.
Stylish Choice

Silentnight Geltex Ultra 3000 Mattress

The Silentnight Geltex Ultra 3000 Mattress offers exceptional breathability.
  • Mirapocket spring system & Geltex
  • Medium-firm
  • 38 cm (14.9 inches)

Tell me more about the Silentnight Geltex Ultra 3000

The Silentnight Geltex Ultra 3000 is one of Silentnight's more premium mattresses.

This is a single-sided pillow-top mattress that features up to 4000 pocket springs for tailored support. 

It also combines Geltex with Ultraflex for luxurious comfort and support. 

The Geltex open-cell structure and springs allow for greater airflow and enhanced breathability, keeping you cool and comfortable.

The Geltex Ultra 3000 is also treated with Purotex fibres, which actively protect against dust mites and allergens.

It comes with free two-man delivery within 14 working days. 

Reasons to buy

60-night trial period 

5-year guarantee

Excellent breathability

Reasons to avoid

Competitors offer longer trials/guarantees 

Not the fastest delivery 

Best Trial Period

Dreams TheraPur ActiGel Glacier 3600 Mattress

The Dreams TheraPur Polar ActiGel 3600 is a cooling mattress designed for optimal airflow and breathability.
  • ActiGel foam, PurFibre foam, pocket & comfort support springs
  • Medium-firm 
  • 31 cm (12.2 inches)

Tell me more about the Dreams TheraPur ActiGel Mattress

The Dreams TheraPur ActiGel Mattress features ActiGel foam and up to 3600 pocket and comfort support springs.

This unique composition allows for individually tailored support, pressure relief, and comfort. 

The 4 cm (1.5 inches) layer of ActiGel foam is zoned for optimum support for the key areas of your body. 

This foam has an open-cell structure for optimal airflow and breathability, helping regulate temperature throughout the night. 

This pillow top mattress also has an ActiCool knitted cover designed to wick heat away from your body.

The Dreams TheraPur mattress is hypoallergenic and features Proactive probiotic technology to prevent the growth of dust mites and bacteria. 

Reasons to buy

100-night sleep trial 

10-year guarantee 

Great cooling technology 

Reasons to avoid

Delivery can take up to 3 weeks 

The cover is not removable 

Quite expensive 


Sleepeezee Immerse 2200 PocketGel Pillow Top Mattress

The Sleepeezee Immerse 2200 PocketGel Pillow Top Mattress has two layers of gel foam for a cooling sleep.

You'll get the best body contouring and bounce with up to 2200 individually-wrapped pocket springs.

The Sleepeezee Immerse 2200 PocketGel Pillow Top Mattress has been designed for enhanced breathability and cooler sleep. ❄️

Some of the cooling features include:

  • Up to 2200 pocket springs for enhanced breathability.
  • Gel foam, which is filled with small gel capsules for better temperature regulation.
  • Chrome vents in the side panels to allow excess moisture and heat to escape.

But the mattress also offers the best in support with a firmer base for good stability and edge support reinforcements.

Additionally, you'll enjoy superior comfort with minimal partner disturbance, a comfortably soft pillow top, and a quilted knitted over. 👩‍❤️‍👨

Sleepeezee immerse 2000 pocket gel mattress
The Sleepeezee PocketGel mattress has been designed for advanced cooling.

Overall, the mattress offers a medium-firm feel.

The pillow top is designed with anti-allergy and asthma-friendly Sensifil smart fibre filling, making this mattress a great hypoallergenic choice. 🤧

The mattress is single-sided with sturdy side handles to help you rotate it. 

The Sleepeezee Immerse 2200 PocketGel Pillow Top Mattress is made in the UK, and comes with a 60-night sleep trial (with exchanges only) and a 5-year guarantee. 🇬🇧

It has a total height of 31 cm (12 inches). 


  Sleepeezee Immerse 2200 PocketGel Pillow Top Mattress
Composition: Gel foam, reflex foam, pocket springs
Firmness level: Medium-firm
Height: 31 cm (12 inches)
Trial: 60-night comfort trial (but dependent on retailer)
Guarantee: 5-year guarantee
What makes this mattress special? Designed to offer a great combination of comfort, support, and breathability.

What is a gel mattress?

So, what exactly is a gel mattress?

Gel is a newcomer to the mattress world, used both as a standalone layer and an infusion, as is common with gel-infused memory foam mattresses.

At its root, though, gel is a polymer made from chemical materials.

gel foam topper

It has fantastic heat-diffusing properties, which is why it's often added to memory foam to counteract heat retention. 🥵

You're also likely to find gel mattress toppers and gel pillows marketed as cooling products.

As a standalone material, gel is very responsive, meaning it feels comfortably bouncy and springs back into shape quickly.

But it's pretty rare to find pure gel beds, and you're much more likely to find gel foam mattresses.👌

gel foam mattress
Gel foam mattresses are becoming increasingly popular.

The Dreams TheraPur mattress is one of our top-choice cooling gel mattresses.


Gel mattress versus gel foam mattress

Let's look at the difference between gel mattresses and gel foam mattresses in more detail. 🕵️‍♀️

Gel mattresses

Pure gel mattresses are filled with a thick gel, often in the form of a padded gel layer at the top or bottom of the mattress.

These are hybrid mattress models, and they're often very expensive. 🤑

Gel layers are often combined with hardier foams, as gel itself can be pretty soft.

gel mattress grid
Gel top mattresses are pretty popular as cooling products.

Gel foam mattresses

These are a little different.

Gel foam mattresses infuse a cooling gel into a different foam material - most commonly, pressure-relieving memory foam.

The cooling gel could be in the form of gel beads, gel particles, gel layers, thermal gel, or even phase-changing gel [1] (which changes from solid to liquid in response to body heat).

The Sleepeezee Immerse 2200 PocketGel Pillow Top mattress, a pocket sprung gel mattress, for example, has gel foam with small gel capsules for better temperature management.


Adding gel to a memory foam mattress aids in terms of cooling properties, better regulates body temperature, and enhances the features of the foam. ❄️

Gel memory foam mattresses are very popular with high-end retailers.

Who are gel mattresses suitable for?

Is a gel top mattress right for you?

If you're looking for a mattress that adapts well to your body, and offers a high degree of comfort and good support, then gel is a wonderful choice.

The table below will give you an overview of the suitability of gel beds.

Gel mattresses
Suitable for:

Hot sleepers and heavy sweaters.

People prone to allergies.

People who struggle with back or neck pain.

All sleeping positions, but especially side sleepers.

People who like softer mattresses.

Restless sleepers.

Less suitable for:

People who don't like soft mattresses.

Heavier-weight stomach or back sleepers.

People who may struggle with handling the mattress (they tend to be very heavy).

People looking for more sustainable/natural products (gel mattresses rely on heavy chemical processes; look at our article on organic mattresses instead).

Let's look at all of these in a bit more detail. 🧐

Gel mattresses for hot sleepers

Since gel has excellent heat-diffusing properties, gel top mattresses are often recommended for hot sleepers and heavier sweaters.

Gel-infused foam mattresses are also a great option.

Temperature regulation scale

These minimise the heat retention properties of other foams, like memory foam, thereby allowing for a cooling effect.

Different gel materials may operate slightly differentely, but, in general, the gel beads or crystals absorb excess body heat and store it.

This keeps you cooler.

If your body temperature changes and becomes colder, the gel releases the stored heat back into the mattress, thereby ensuring constant temperature regulation.

Pocket sprung gel mattresses, like the Happy Beds Ocean Gel Pocket 2000 Mattress, are also fantastic for cooling, combining pocket springs' enhanced airflow with gel top mattresses' cooling properties.

EXTRA10Click to copy code


If you're not convinced you want to go the gel foam route but are still concerned about heat, take a look at our article on the best cooling mattresses for hot sleepers.

You may also be interested in reading our guides on the best temperature for sleep and how to cool down your room for a more comfortable night.

Gel mattresses for allergies

Cool gel mattresses are dust-mite-resistant and very hypoallergenic.

This makes them an excellent choice for people prone to allergies. 🤧

woman with allergies
Gel beds are great for people prone to allergies.

Some mattresses even have other anti-allergy features.

The Silentnight Geltex Ultra 3000, for example, is also treated with Purotex fibres, which actively protect against dust mites and allergens.


Gel mattresses for orthopaedic demands

Mattresses with integrated gel layers are great for people struggling with back pain and those with orthopaedic concerns.

Gel has amazing pressure relief properties, moulding to your body and offering a good balance of comfort and body support.

It offers a bit of a "floating" effect, gently cushioning your body where needed and allowing for optimal spinal alignment.

optimal spinal alignmnet
Gel mattresses are great for orthopaedic support.

This also makes cool gel mattresses an excellent option for all sleeping positions.

That said, pure gel mattresses tend to be quite soft, so they may not be suited to heavier-weight stomach or back sleepers.

The Dreams TheraPur mattress is an excellent orthopaedic choice, offering gel foam, pocket springs, and a luxurious pillow top for the ultimate comfort and support.


gel mattress firmness
Gel is soft and comfortable to sleep on.

Gel mattresses for restless sleepers

Gel mattresses are a great choice for restless sleepers as the material bounces back to its original shape quickly. 👌

This means that, when pressure is applied and removed, the material will return to its original shape rapidly, quickly providing the support required.

Memory foam mattresses, in contrast, take quite a while to bounce back to their original shape, making them more unpleasant for restless sleepers.

Very restless sleepers may be most comfortable on pocket sprung gel mattress, which combine the best of pocket springs and gel.

Keep in mind that pure gel mattresses can be very heavy, so they may be unsuitable for people with physical difficulties who won't be able to rotate the mattress.

Criteria to consider when purchasing a gel mattress

There are numerous factors to consider before purchasing a gel mattress, regardless of whether you choose a gel-layered mattress or a gel memory foam mattress.

woman confused
There are a couple of factors to consider before choosing your gel mattress.

The below will help you make your choice.

Pay attention to mattress density

Foam density is critical when considering the quality of a mattress.

This applies to all foam mattresses, including gel foam mattresses.

In a nutshell:

The higher the density, the higher the quality.

Density refers to how much foam material is packed into a cubic metre. 🧊

The denser the foam, the more support it will give, and the more durable the mattress.

The below illustration can help guide you:

density quality indiactor

If you're buying a spring mattress (or a pocket-sprung mattress with a top gel layer), you also need to consider the number of springs in the mattress.

Don't buy a mattress with less than 300 springs for the smallest size - this would indicate inferior quality and support. 🙅‍♂️

Even a lower budget hybrid gel spring mattress, like the Silentnight Just Bliss Gel Hybrid Mattress (peviously the Silentnight Studio Gel Hybrid Mattress) has a minimum of 1000 pocket springs.


2. Consider the height of the mattress

Gel layers are generally quite soft, meaning you'll sink into them more deeply.

If your mattress is too thin overall, this may be uncomfortable. 😏

This is why you should always choose a gel mattress with a firm and sturdy base to support you.

We wouldn't recommend a mattress lower than 18 cm (7 inches). 📏

Thicker mattress
Thicker mattresses tend to look - and feel - more luxurious.

Most standard mattresses are about 25 cm (9.8 inches) in height, though you'll also find thinner and thicker ones.

We generally prefer thicker mattresses:

  • They look great on most bed bases and act as the centrepiece in your bedroom.
  • They make getting in and out of bed easier (especially for the elderly).
  • Standard bedding will generally fit better.

Of course, you should also consider your personal preferences, budget, and room size. 🤔

The Silentnight Geltex Ultra 3000 is the ultimate spoil for those looking for a thicker mattress - it measures a full 38 cm (14.9 inches)!


3. Choose the right firmness for your sleeping profile and body type

Since gel is much softer, it's essential to ensure the overall mattress suits your desired level of firmness.

mattress firmness
Your mattress should provide the right degree of firmness.

The right degree of firmness can be influenced by your preferred sleeping position, weight, build, and personal preference.

Here is a guideline:

  • Light-weight and side sleepers often prefer softer mattresses. ☁️
  • Average-weight and combination sleepers generally prefer medium-firm mattresses. 🧸
  • Heavier-weight or pure back sleepers or stomach sleepers generally do well on firm mattresses. 🧱

Gel memory foam mattresses are generally softer, while gel layers on top of a spring mattress can be slightly firmer.

Firmness according to sleeping position

The Bensons for Beds iGel Advance 3000i Plush Top mattress is a great mattress that's actually available in soft, medium, and firm options, so you can choose what's most comfortable for you.

BUY IGEL ADVANCE 300I£ 1,574.99

4. Always consider trial periods

We get it:

Buying a new mattress is challenging. 😔

It's even more difficult if you're choosing a newer material, like a gel mattress.

This is why we always recommend purchasing from a brand that offers:

  • Free delivery and returns: So you don't incur additional expenses.
  • Risk-free trial periods: So you're covered in case you don't like it.
  • A good guarantee: To protect you from manufacturing faults and shoddy quality.

Trial periods are fantastic.

They give you the chance to try out a mattress in the comfort of your own home.

If you're not satisfied, you can return the mattress and get a full refund. 💰

Give it at least three weeks, though - it may take some time to get used to a new mattress, especially if its feel is vastly different from what you're used to!

trial periods

But, you do need to look at trials very carefully.

Some brands don't give you a refund and only allow you to exchange the product for another one.

Always check these conditions before your purchase.

All the top gel mattresses we've considered only come with a comfort trial, where you can exchange the mattress for another one if you're not happy.

This isn't ideal, but it still gives you the option to change your mind. 😅

We'd recommend looking at a retailer that offers a wide variety of other mattresses that you may be interested in should you change your mind.

Longest comfort trial of our favourite gel mattresses:

UK gel mattress sizes

Like all other mattresses, cool gel mattresses are available in many different sizes. 🇬🇧

The standard UK mattress sizes include:

  • Small single gel mattresses: 75 x 190 cm (2'6" x 6'3")
  • Single gel mattresses: 90 x 190 cm (3' x 6'3")
  • Small double gel mattresses: 120 x 190 cm (4' x 6'3")
  • Double gel mattresses: 135 x 190 cm (4'6" x 6'3")
  • King-size gel mattresses: 150 x 200 cm (5' x 6'6")
  • Super-king-size gel mattresses: 180 x 200 cm (6’ x 6’6”)

So which size is right for you?

Standard uk mattress sizes

That depends on whether or not you're sharing your bed with a partner, the size of your room, and your budget. 👩‍❤️‍👨

As a guideline:

  • A single, small double, or double mattress should suffice if you sleep alone.
  • If you're sharing your bed with a partner, a double is the absolute minimum size to go for.

Our mattress size guide can help you choose the correct size.

What do gel mattresses cost?

Pure gel mattresses are costly.

You can easily spend up to £1000 or more for the smallest size. 😳

But gel-infused or gel memory foam mattresses are often cheaper.

You can even get great budget options through retailers like Silentnight or Happy Beds. 🙌

Price-performance ratio
Always go for the highest quality you can afford.

As with everything, though, you often get what you pay for.

Consider your budget as a first step, and then look at the criteria above.

This will help you make a choice that meets your needs perfectly. 👍

Gel mattress discount codes

Now and then, retailers like Mattress Online or Dreams will offer site-wide discounts - even on luxury goods like gel mattresses!

man sitting on coins
Grabbing a gel mattress on sale is not impossible.

Bookmark our discounts page and check back often to see if any great deals are running.

You never know how much you can save with a good sale or coupon code. 😉

Always make sure that your discount code is applied upon checkout.

You can also sign up to our newsletter to get all the best deals sent straight to your inbox.

Cooling gel sleep accessories

If you're looking for further cooling, or just want some elements of gel in your bed setup, you could consider investing in some cooling gel sleep accessories instead.

Are gel mattress toppers any good?

Gel-infused mattress toppers are trendy. 😎

But what exactly is a mattress topper?

And do you need one?

A mattress topper is a thin layer, usually between 4 - 7 cm (1.5 - 2.7 inches) in height, that you place on top of your mattress.

A topper is primarily used to make a firm mattress slightly softer and enhance comfort and orthopaedic support. 🤗

gel mattress topper
Gel mattress toppers are very popular.

Many mattress toppers feature gel-infused foams to help with cooling properties as well.

These are great if your mattress is just a bit too hot or if you're generally a hot sleeper looking for better airflow and breathability. ❄️

The Panda matress topper featured gel-infused memory foam to give you the best comfort with additional cooling.


But there are also a host of other cooling mattress toppers available, which we look at in detail in the linked guide.

Can you get gel foam pillows?

Just as you can get cooling gel mattress toppers, you can also find cooling gel pillows.

These generally feature a gel layer and have been distinctly designed for a cooler sleep. ⛄️

We've linked one of our favourite pillows below.

Also, look at our complete guide on cool pillows for a wider variety of options, including non-gel pillows.

Our favourite cooling gel-infused accessories:

Should you buy a gel foam mattress?

There are some excellent gel foam mattresses on the market that won't break the bank.

These are ideal for restless and hot sleepers.

But since they are a little softer, they're best for side sleepers or people of lighter or average weights.

You could also opt for a pure gel mattress, but these are pretty difficult to find - especially in the online mattress world.

You'll find a recap of our favourite gel mattresses available in the UK below.

Best gel mattress UK options:

Frequently asked questions

  • Are gel mattresses good?

    Gel mattresses are a great option, especially if you want added contouring and cooling.

    But, they can be costly.

    If you're looking for the best bang for your buck, you could opt for a gel-infused memory foam mattress.

  • Are gel mattresses safe?

    Gel in mattresses is generally considered safe, but it is worth remembering that these are not organic mattresses.

    Gel is a chemical compound, and gel mattresses do rely on chemical manufacturing.

    If you're looking for sustainable, natural, or organic mattresses, then gel won't be right for you.

  • How long do gel mattresses last?

    Because gel and gel foam mattresses are still new to the market, the limits of their lifespan aren’t yet known for sure.

    However, most companies offer guarantees of between 5 and 10 years.

    This is pretty standard for quality mattresses of any material.

  • How do you clean a gel mattress?

    You should clean your new gel foam mattress from time to time to keep it fresh. 🌺

    You don't need particular cleaning agents for this - but our best mattress cleaner article will guide you on which ones you could consider.

    Here are a few more tricks to keeping your gel foam mattress in peak condition:

    • Make sure you purchase a gel foam mattress with a removable cover that can be machine-washed at a high temperature. 🛀 This is the easiest way to ensure your mattress remains clean and hygienic.
    • It's also essential to choose a perfect slatted frame as this will allow the mattress to remain well-ventilated and prevent mould formation or mites.
    • In general, you should air your bedroom well every day. ⛅
    • Finally, you should invest in a good mattress protector to safeguard your mattress against stains, spills, dirt, bacteria, and moisture.

    By taking good care of your mattress, you'll keep it in mint condition and elongate its lifespan.

  • What bed frame should you get for gel mattresses?

    A good bed base can enhance the features of your gel foam mattresses.

    You can choose any base, be it a divan base, ottoman bed, or slatted frame. 🛏

    If you are opting for a slatted bed frame, pay attention to the following:

    • To support the division of contour zones in your gel foam mattress, consider choosing a slatted frame with the same divisions.
    • We recommend a height-adjustable slatted frame as gel foam mattresses are very adaptable. Adjustable head and foot sections offer increased comfort and improve blood circulation, especially in older people.
    • You can also use a gel mattress on a rigid slatted frame.
    • Ensure that the space between slats isn't greater than 5 cm (1.9 inches). This allows for proper support.

    Regardless of which base you choose, opt for one that offers a stable, even surface for your mattress.

  • What are the alternatives to gel mattresses?

    There are many different mattress types.

    Consider these alternatives if you don't think a gel foam mattress is right for you.

    Memory foam mattresses

    Memory foam mattresses have similar properties to gel foam mattresses.

    They are often characterised by the so-called memory imprint.

    When pressure is applied, the foam becomes softer and forms an imprint, which remains visible for a little while.

    The image below demonstrates this well:

    memory foam imprint

    Due to its high adaptability and great relief of pressure points, memory foam is often used for orthopaedic purposes.💜

    While both gel foam and memory foam mattresses can be great choices, there are some key differences.

    For one, memory foam mattresses are more temperature-sensitive and tend to provide a warmer sleep. 🥵

    Gel foam, in contrast, is completely temperature-neutral and more breathable overall.

    Gel foam mattresses are also better suited to restless sleepers. 🕺

    One of our favourite memory foam mattresses is the Nectar, which offers a slightly firmer feel and great temperature regulation.


    Spring mattresses

    Spring mattresses are great if you're looking for a slightly firmer option that offers more support and stability.

    These contain springs at their core.

    Springs adapt to the body in a point-elastic manner, offering fantastic support.

    pocket springs

    The gaps between the springs also provide natural ventilation channels, ensuring high breathability.🍃

    We'd recommend pocket spring mattresses, which are much higher quality than open or continuous coil spring mattresses.

    A pillow top pocket sprung mattress offers the best in terms of extra support and extra comfort.

    Hybrid mattresses that combine pocket springs and foam are also an excellent choice.

    One of our favourites is the Simba Hybrid.


    Cold foam mattresses

    Cold foam and gel foam mattresses share similar features, including:

    • Good point elasticity
    • High adaptability
    • Orthopaedic support

    But, cold foam mattresses tend to feel a litter firmer and a little warmer.

    cold foam mattress

    In contrast, gel foam mattresses are cooler and softer. ❄️

    It's rare to find a high-quality mattress made purely of cold foam.

    Usually, cold foam is used as a firm and supportive base layer, combined with other layers of foam or pocket springs.

    The Emma Original mattress, for example, has a cold foam base with top layers of memory foam for extra comfort.

    SLEEPHEROUK5Click to copy code


    Latex mattresses

    Latex mattresses are popular for people looking for good support and high breathability.

    These are also great organic options. 🌱

    pros and cons of latex mattresses

    There is a difference between synthetic and natural latex mattresses, though.

    Synthetic latex mattresses are cheaper and more popular, but natural latex mattresses are better organic choices. 🌴

    Like gel mattresses, latex mattresses generally have good breathability and offer cooler sleep.

    latex mattress

    But, gel foam is softer and more adaptive, while latex foam feels more bouncy. 

  • References


Nicky Peters

Editor & Certified Sleep Therapist

Nicky is an experienced writer and editor with BA, BA(Hons), and MA qualifications. As a certified sleep coach, her interests lie in understanding how sleep problems arise from hormonal and environmental issues, particularly as part of stress and anxiety management.

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